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Doing Without Dark Energy

Three mathematicians have a different explanation for the accelerating expansion of the universe that does without theories of “dark energy.” Einstein’s original equations for General Relativity actually predict cosmic acceleration due to an “instability,” they argue in paper published recently in Proceedings of the Royal Society A.

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The Quantum Thermodynamics Revolution | Quanta Magazine

As physicists extend the 19th-century laws of thermodynamics to the quantum realm, they’re rewriting the relationships among energy, entropy and information.

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New nanomaterial can extract hydrogen fuel from seawater

It’s possible to produce hydrogen to power fuel cells by extracting the gas from seawater, but the electricity required to do it makes the process costly. UCF researcher Yang Yang has come up with a new hybrid nanomaterial that harnesses solar energy and uses it to generate hydrogen from seawater more cheaply and efficiently than current materials.

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Scientists can now produce electricity from tears

A team of Irish scientists has discovered that applying pressure to a protein found in egg whites and tears can generate electricity. The researchers from the Bernal Institute, University of Limerick (UL), Ireland, observed that crystals of lysozyme, a model protein that is abundant in egg whites of birds as well as in the tears, saliva and milk of mammals can generate electricity when pressed. Their report is published today (October 2) in the journal, Applied Physics Letters.

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New insights on dark energy

The universe is not only expanding – it is accelerating outward, driven by what is commonly referred to as “dark energy.” The term is a poetic analogy to label for dark matter, the mysterious material that dominates the matter in the universe and that really is dark because it does not radiate light (it reveals itself via its gravitational influence on galaxies). Two explanations are commonly advanced to explain dark energy. The first, as Einstein once speculated, is that gravity itself causes objects to repel one another when they are far enough apart (he added this “cosmological constant” term to his equations). The second explanation hypothesizes (based on our current understanding of elementary particle physics) that the vacuum has properties that provide energy to the cosmos for expansion.

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New Evidence for Small, Short-Lived Drops of Early Universe Quark-Gluon Plasma?

Scientists observe correlated flow of particles emerging from even the lowest-energy, small-scale collisions at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, suggesting that these collisions might be producing tiny, short-lived specks of matter that mimics what the early universe was like nearly 14 billion years ago.

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Hollow atoms: The consequences of an underestimated effect

The “hollow atoms”, which are being produced in the labs of TU Wien (Vienna) are quite exotic objects. Their electrons are in a state of extremely high energy (so called Rydberg states), but when they are shot through another material, they can get rid of this energy in a matter of femtoseconds (millionths of a billionth of a second).

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Scientists Unveil New Inventory of Universe’s Dark Contents | Quanta Magazine

The first major results from the Dark Energy Survey signal the start of a new era of cosmology.

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Scientists Unveil New Inventory of Universe’s Dark Contents | Quanta Magazine

The first major results from the Dark Energy Survey signal the start of a new era of cosmology.

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Majorana fermions predicted in a superconducting material

MIT physicists propose that a class of superconducting materials can host Majorana fermions near absolute zero, and that their existence can be verified using nuclear magnetic resonance.

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The 'star in a jar' that could provide limitless energy on Earth

Physicists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory revealed their plan for a next generation fusion device in a paper published in the journal Nuclear Fusion.

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China's Nuclear Fusion Machine Just Smashed Germany's Hydrogen Plasma Record

Just last week, we reported that Germany’s revolutionary nuclear fusion machine managed to heat hydrogen gas to 80 million degrees Celsius, and sustain a cloud of hydrogen plasma for a quarter of a second. This was a huge milestone in the decade

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China’s Nuclear Fusion Machine Just Smashed Germany’s Hydrogen Plasma Record

Just last week, we reported that Germany’s revolutionary nuclear fusion machine managed to heat hydrogen gas to 80 million degrees Celsius, and sustain a cloud of hydrogen plasma for a quarter of a second. This was a huge milestone in the decade

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Chemical complexity promises improved structural alloys for next-gen nuclear energy

Designing alloys to withstand extreme environments is a fundamental challenge for materials scientists. Energy from radiation can create imperfections in alloys, so researchers in an Energy Frontier Research Center led by the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory are investigating ways to design structural materials that develop fewer, smaller flaws under irradiation. The key, they report in the journal Nature Communications, is exploiting the complexity that is present when alloys are made with equal amounts of up to four different metallic elements.